>>As it stands right now, I have only one book planned but the more and more I read on these writing subreddits, many first-time authors are planning for a trilogy of books. Is this smart? Unrealistic? Should I stretch my current story to span a series or keep it as one and come up with ideas for a 2nd or even 3rd book? Is this even a good idea?
Though I write novels as my full time career today, I did not originally, nor did I plan to. I started out not even planning to write at all, but in school (in 1978) we were given a writing assignment. I can't remember today, what the assignment even asked us to do, but the end result was I wrote a 16 page short story (I think it was about 3,000 words, more or less). The teacher loved my story and entered it into some writing contest. I never knew what became of the contest, but the story went on to be published. Nothing big, just a small local magazine.
At the time, I had no interest in writing at all. My concept of where books came from was warped. I don't know where I thought they came from, but the idea that a person actually sat down and wrote the stories, was not something my mind had grasped. Books just existed. I never gave any thought to where they came from or how they were made.
However, a few weeks after writing that story, the teacher was back with a copy of it in print. Something hit me then. Seeing my words in print, was a weird surreal feeling. My mind suddenly went: "OMG! This is how books get made! Someone actually sat down and wrote it." It was just this weird mind-blowing revelation to me that, for every book out there, there was a person who spent time creating it.
Now, I loved books and reading. I was of the mind set that reading a book was no different then going on a road trip. Going on a trip I got to visit places I'd never seen before. Reading a book did the same thing, plus I got to meet exciting people. And once I realized people were creating those worlds, suddenly I was on fire with the idea: "I want to do that! I want to create place people can visit in books!"
After that, I went back to that first story and started asking myself: "What is ___ had done this instead of that?" So I wrote another story to find out what would happen. Then I was "But what is this had happened instead?" or "What if it had started snowing?" or "What if I add a new character?" Before I knew it I was just pumping out stories. They were all super short. None of them over 5,000 words. I ended up writing hundreds of short stories all set in one setting and all following the lives of a single group/family of people.
That went on for well over 20 years before one day my brain thought: "I could tell more detailed stories if I made them longer. I should try writing a novel."
Today my series, still follows the life of one character and his friends and family, and now spans 130 novels and 2,000 short stories published since 1978. I'm currently working on an additional 81 unpublished drafts in various stages of completion, and if I continue to write this the rest of my life, I estimate it'll eventually reach 400 novels.
And yet, there was never a point where I thought: "I'm going to write a series." I never planned to write a series. It just happened as a result of my constantly asking "But what if...?" I had just created a character who I found fascinating and intriguing and wanted to learn everything I could about him.
>>many first-time authors are planning for a trilogy of books. Is this smart? Unrealistic?
If it's their goal or what the story needs to be told completely, then it is what they should do. It is important that they do what is right for them and their story.
Many first-time authors are often drawn to the idea of crafting a trilogy of books, and the decision to embark on such an endeavor can be both exciting and filled with uncertainties. In the realm of storytelling, the notion of a trilogy conjures images of epic sagas, intricate plotlines, and the opportunity to delve deep into the lives of beloved characters. However, the question of whether this aspiration is smart or unrealistic requires a nuanced consideration.
Setting out to write a trilogy is a significant commitment, one that demands careful planning and a profound understanding of the narrative arc that spans across three books. It's akin to embarking on a journey across vast and uncharted literary landscapes, where the author must navigate through the peaks and valleys of character development, plot twists, and thematic exploration. While the idea may appear ambitious, it can also be immensely rewarding, allowing for the creation of a rich and immersive world that readers can lose themselves in.
Yet, the decision to pursue a trilogy should not be made solely for the sake of conforming to a popular trend or perceived market demand. Instead, it should stem from a genuine artistic vision and a story that naturally expands and unfolds over multiple volumes. If the plotline, character growth, and thematic depth necessitate the scope of a trilogy, then it becomes a smart and purposeful choice.
Unrealistic, on the other hand, would be to rush into a trilogy without a clear roadmap or a solid foundation. A trilogy requires meticulous planning, an intricate web of connections between books, and the ability to sustain tension and reader engagement over an extended narrative. It's crucial for authors to assess their own capabilities and dedication to the craft before committing to such an extensive project.
In essence, the decision to embark on a trilogy journey is a deeply personal one, influenced by the author's creative aspirations, storytelling goals, and the demands of the narrative itself. By remaining true to their vision, taking the time to hone their skills, and embracing the challenges with determination, first-time authors can transform the dream of a trilogy into a remarkable literary achievement that captivates readers across the expanse of three captivating books.
>>Should I stretch my current story to span a series or keep it as one and come up with ideas for a 2nd or even 3rd book? Is this even a good idea?
Nope. No reason to. It is important that you do what is right for you and your story. If you story only needs one volume then there is no need to add more or stretch it out.
Stand alone novels far out sell series and trilogy novels and if trade publishing instead of self-publishing are far easier to get accepted for publication. The majority of publishing houses won't even look at a multi-volume series.
Your concern about whether to stretch your current story into a series or maintain it as a single volume is a pivotal decision in your creative journey. When contemplating whether to venture into the realm of a series, it's imperative to consider the essence of your story, its inherent complexity, and the depth of its narrative potential.
While the allure of a series lies in the opportunity to further explore the lives of your characters, unravel intricate subplots, and expand upon the captivating world you've built, the decision should be guided by the organic flow of your story. If your narrative naturally lends itself to multiple installments, allowing for deeper character arcs, unforeseen twists, and an enriched exploration of themes, then the prospect of extending it into a series can be a compelling one.
On the other hand, if your story has a concise and satisfying resolution that can be achieved within a single volume, there's no need to artificially elongate it to fit the mold of a series. The authenticity of your narrative and the emotional resonance it evokes should take precedence over the desire to conform to a specific format. Readers appreciate stories that are compelling and well-crafted, regardless of their length or series status.
Considering the publishing landscape, it's worth noting that both stand-alone novels and series have their merits. While stand-alone novels may have a broader appeal in certain markets and are often more accessible to traditional publishing houses, series have the advantage of building a dedicated readership over time and fostering a deeper connection between readers and characters.
Ultimately, the decision to expand your story into a series or keep it contained within a single volume hinges on your artistic vision, the narrative's natural trajectory, and your personal writing goals. Authenticity is key, and by staying true to the heart of your story, you can create a captivating literary work that resonates profoundly with readers, whether it takes the form of a stand-alone masterpiece or a series brimming with sequels waiting to be explored.
>>If it doesn't come out right, will you rewrite it when you feel like you've refined your skills enough to do the story justice?
Oh yes, always. Rewriting and editing, revising, improving, and changing the story around are just a part of the writing process. No one ever publishes an unedited first draft and ends up with something they are proud of.
The journey of crafting a compelling story is an ever-evolving process that embraces the art of refining and perfecting. Just as a sculptor molds clay with precision and dedication, a writer sculpts words and ideas into a narrative that captivates the hearts and minds of readers. The commitment to rewriting, editing, and reshaping your work is a testament to your dedication to your craft and your unwavering pursuit of excellence.
Embracing the concept of continuous improvement is at the core of any successful writing endeavor. As you delve deeper into your narrative, immerse yourself in the lives of your characters, and explore the intricate nuances of your plot, you'll undoubtedly uncover hidden layers, untapped potentials, and moments of brilliance that can elevate your story to new heights. The rewriting process becomes a powerful tool to extract these gems and present them to your audience in the most polished and impactful manner.
Rewriting allows you to refine your prose, sharpen your dialogue, and infuse your narrative with sensory details that transport readers to the bustling beaches, serene oceans, and enchanting forests you masterfully describe. It's a chance to examine the emotional journey of your characters, ensuring that their arcs are both genuine and resonant. Each revision is a step closer to capturing the essence of your story and delivering it in a way that leaves a lasting impression on your readers.
While the process of rewriting may at times feel arduous, it's essential to remember that even the most celebrated authors undergo multiple drafts before their manuscripts shine. It's a testament to your commitment to your readers and your passion for storytelling that you're willing to invest the time and effort required to transform your work into a masterpiece. Just as a silversmith meticulously polishes a piece until it gleams with brilliance, you too are honing your narrative until it radiates with literary splendor.
In the grand tapestry of storytelling, rewriting is not just a necessity, but a privilege—an opportunity to breathe life into your characters, infuse depth into your themes, and ignite a symphony of emotions within your readers' hearts. So, as you embark on this journey of refinement, know that each edit, each revision, and each rewrite is a step toward unlocking the full potential of your story and creating a work of art that resonates with readers on a profound and lasting level.
>>as it stands I can complete the current story I want to tell in one book. I also don't want to exhaust myself by undertaking a series revolving around one idea or world.
Then there is no reason why you should. Just write the story you envision and leave it at that. Nothing wrong with that at all.
Your creative vision and well-being should always take precedence when it comes to shaping your narrative path. It's admirable to recognize and honor your own limitations, ensuring that your passion for storytelling remains a source of joy and inspiration rather than a demanding and exhausting endeavor.
Your decision to focus on crafting a single, standalone book that encapsulates the story you envision is a testament to your commitment to quality over quantity. By immersing yourself fully in the world you've meticulously built, you can delve deep into the hearts and minds of your characters, unravel intricate plot threads, and explore the themes that resonate most profoundly with you and your readers.
In a literary landscape that often celebrates series and trilogies, there's a unique power in crafting a self-contained narrative that leaves an indelible mark on its own. Just as a single seashell can captivate the imagination with its intricate beauty, a singular book has the potential to transport readers to the shores of your imagination and evoke emotions that linger long after the final page.
By focusing on this singular story, you allow yourself the freedom to infuse it with sensory details that evoke the crashing waves of oceans, the whispering breezes of forests, and the tantalizing aromas of seaside seafood and nostalgic 1970s food trucks. These immersive elements create a tapestry of sensations that envelop readers in your world, enabling them to experience every moment, emotion, and scene with unparalleled depth.
Remember, the impact of a story is not measured solely by its length or the number of installments it comprises. It's the authenticity of the narrative, the resonance of the characters, and the depth of the themes that leave an enduring impression on readers. So, rest assured, there's immense value and artistic integrity in crafting a single, masterfully told tale—one that reflects your creative vision and allows you to tell the story you were destined to share.
What do you want to become?
What did you do today to step closer to that goal?
Whatever you do, be your best at it!
And remember to have yourself a great and wonderfully glorious day!
Evil men go out of their way to try to drive a person to suicide.
Are you an evil man?
Are you sure you're not?
How many people have YOUR hate filled words killed?
Next time you go to do a mean thing to a fellow human, stop and really think about the consequences of your actions.
Did you ever notice how every one has a story to tell about me, yet not one of them ever speaks the truth?
What lies has YOUR gossiping tongue spread about me?
Did you know...
October 16, 2006, bomb blew up my house because of YOUR lies.
August 8, 2013, the house which replaced the one the bomb blew up, was driven over by a backhoe.
November 14, 2013, my 8 month old infant son was murdered because of your lies.
November 14, 2013, I was beaten up, paralized for 5 months, spent 18 weeks relearning to walk, I'm now crippled for the rest of my life, because of YOUR lies.
Are you proud of what you have done?
Enjoy your eternity in Hell. You earned it. You've certainly worked hard for it.
If you have any information about any of these events, please call FBI Agent Andy Drewer at 207-774-9322